A life dictated by my blood. They taught me, though,
That it, like everything else in the world,
Like the red joba that nestled in the corner
Of the marbled terrace where I took my first steps,
Is a construct.
And being a construct, like everything else,
Like the photo of Babaji my grandmother
Encircled with flowing smoke from glowing dhoops,
It means nothing, not really.
Bengali. But the words,
Didn't form themselves on my tongue; the script,
Did not flow. It was slowly, painfully etched,
Only to be slashed with red ink,
Followed by a whisper of shame.
I turned with relief to the obscurity of Auden,
Who should have felt alien,
But didn't. Rather, a friend, not an easy one,
But the kind who throws light on your shadows,
Over steaming cups of tea.

The stories run through my veins: the old house in Purulia,
With mango trees that the old people climbed
When their legs were something like mine.
But the story of the ankle of Achilles is familiar,
As familiar, more familiar. And it carries me
Away on the backs of night clouds,
Faster, more furious, than even the swiftness,
The legendary swiftness,
Of Arjun's arrow.
I spring to attention because I was taught to at school,
When the proud strains of that proud song is sung.
And it belongs to me.
But so does the front seat of that double decker bus,
That speeds through the famous road,
That has no trees,
Not one.



Living alone isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Like today, for instance, it's already 6 pm, and I'm still stuck at work, because there's a lot of work, and then I have to grocery shop, because I have no food at home, and then I have to go home and clean my apartment because I had people over on Friday (I am never having people over again) and the place is currently a disaster zone, and I cope with disasters by avoiding them until I can't avoid them, and I coped with this particular disaster by spending the weekend at my brother's.

But I can't put it off any longer. I have to clean. I have to sweep the floors, and then wash them, and clean the bathroom, and do the dishes, and also probably clean the fridge because it smells of garlic, and change my bed sheets otherwise I will get acne. (My mother knows my weaknesses and so chose to share this information with me.)

And I don't want to spend my hard earned money on yogurt and mushrooms and bananas, man, I want to spend it on beer, but I can't spend it on beer, because I should be consuming yogurt and mushrooms and bananas because I am a responsible adult now.

And I don't want to be a fatty.


You know what I'm going to do to make myself feel better about all this?

I'm going to clean my apartment naked. That's right, I'll be naked.

Because I can. I can roam around naked. I can sleep naked. That is one of the advantages of living alone. Actually, I'll go a step further.  I will roll myself a joint, and smoke the joint, while cleaning in a state of nudity.

(A far cry from when I'm at home in Calcutta, forced to smoke bloody cigarettes with my head stuck outside the bathroom window.)

Okay, I feel better now.


My First Domestic Disaster. (Spoiler: It wasn't my fault.)

So a couple of mornings after I got home from Calcutta (what an amazing time I had there by the way; I'd forgotten it holds so many people that I love), I was doing the usual pre-work routine. This is a long and complicated process, involving drinking hot water and lemon, doing a couple of feeble push ups, drinking half a cup of coffee, taking a ten minute nap, drinking the second half, attempting to simultaneously create breakfast and lunch...I could go on, but I won't, I'll get to the point instead.

Anyway, I finally reached the part of my routine that is spent having a bath. So I have this weird habit where I shower and also fill a bucket of ice cold water at the same time to pour over my head towards the end of the bath - if my shower isn't a power shower which mine isn't.

So I turn the tap to fill the bucket and - IT WASN'T MY FAULT - the tap came off in my hand. A jet of water flew at me, and it kept flying, spraying me in the face, and oh god, I thought, why me, why me, why me. 

I didn't panic though. I'm used to things falling apart in my hands and necessity has taught me to be quite good at fixing said things. But this refused to be fixed. No matter how desperately I tried screwing the tap back in, the pressure of the water kept pushing it out again.

"COME ON, MOTHERF***ER!" I yelled.

"Please, please, dear tap, go back in." I pleaded.

"Oh why won't the Universe helllllllllp me?" I sobbed.

The Universe never helps me. I had to call my landlord instead. He immediately sent the guard who shoved it back into place and told me it would hold temporarily. Temporarily was right. The damn tap flew off five minutes after he left and the entire scenario started all over again - except, naturally, it was worse this time round, as these things usually are.

My landlord wasn't picking up his phone, there was no sign of the guard who I can't communicate with anyway, except through ape-like gestures, since he only speaks Tamil. And the damn water wouldn't stop. So for the next forty minutes, I kept collecting it in a bucket and then throwing it down the loo, and then waiting for it to re-fill again.

Unfortunately, during one of these bucket-filling sessions, I failed to notice that the tap had managed falling into the bucket. I only noticed when I poured the water into the loo, and - oh, agonizing moment of horror - saw the tap going down the loo as well. And there was no way to get it back. It had gone, gone, gone.

What happens when a tap goes down the toilet? I didn't know then, but it definitely couldn't have been good. I rallied by telling myself it was a stupid tap that had no business falling off in the first place and that it deserved to be flushed.

And then, of course, the guard landed up. We didn't actually have the following conversation, on account of how - as previously mentioned - we don't have a language in common, so just imagine this in gestures.

Guard: Oh shit.

Me: Damn right.

Guard: Where's the tap? I'll screw it back on with tape.

Me: It's gone down the toilet.

Guard: *Makes the universal crazy-person gesture*

And then at this point, my shower suddenly decided to join  the fun and began raining on him.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the bathroom was flooded, the guard and I were soaking wet, the landlord's son landed up, asked me where the tap was as well, looked at me in disbelief upon hearing the answer, peered suspiciously into my toilet, tried fixing the tap, managed making everything worse, and they had to cut the entire building's water supply for a few hours.

Welcome to the neighbourhood, Trisha.

PS For the record, it seriously wasn't my fault. One of the pipes broke. And I also missed a morning at work, and sent my boss photos to prove that I was telling the truth so my salary didn't get cut. Which just goes to show - everything does have a silver lining.